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Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

The Obama tax shift


Barack Obama’s policies on taxes are difficult to determine. They keep changing all the time. Thankfully, the Wall Street Journal has been keeping track.

First there was what the Journal calls ObamaTax 1.0. Obama would end the Bush tax cuts, raise the cap on wages that come under the payroll tax, place the top marginal rate at 39.8 percent, and increase rates on capital gains and dividends.

This summer came ObamaTax 2.0.  Obama changed his position by lowering the top rate on capital gains.

Now with John McCain and election ads pummeling Obama as a tax-raiser, Obama has revised his tax strategy again. Under ObamaTax 3.0, if the economy is still sputtering at the beginning of 2009, President Obama might, the operative word being might, forego all of his earlier proposals calling for big increases.

There is plenty of uncertainty when it comes to Barack Obama’s intentions on taxes. The only certainty appears to be that taxes will go up, and go up a lot.

Here is the Wall Street Journal article.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports John McCain is delivering a simple, easy to understand message on taxes. 

The government knows how much you’re driving


This isn’t exactly a news bulletin.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) reports, “S
ince last November, Americans have driven 53.2 billion miles less than they did over the same period a year earlier – topping the 1970s' total decline of 49.3 billion miles. Americans drove 4.7 percent less, or 12.2 billion miles fewer, in June 2008 than June 2007. The decline is most evident in rural travel, which has fallen by 4 percent – compared to the 1.2 percent decline in urban miles traveled – since the trend began last November.”

Here is the news release from the FHA.

The reasons for the decline are obvious and indisputable: high gasoline prices and a sluggish economy. But how does the federal government know the decline between November 2007 and June 2008 is 53.2 billion miles? How does the federal government arrive at the figure?

The answer is a matter of modern technology and mathematics. States have installed special sensors on our roadways that can determine the amount and size of cars. The data is sent to the feds every month and they do the math.

Read about it in Slate.

State help for job seekers

News you can use


The state of Wisconsin has an online job center to assist the unemployed find work. The website operated by the state Department of Workforce Development features county-by-county job listings, job fair postings, and assistance for creating quality resumes. For employers, the website has a search feature to help them find applicants qualified for their open positions.

You can visit the website here.

Reminder: Today is deadline to apply for flood assistance


If you want to apply to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for assistance for damages from June flooding, the deadline is today, September 15.

You can apply online here or call FEMA's toll free line at (800) 621-FEMA.

Deer hunting begins Saturday

News you can use


As hard as it is to believe, deer hunting season in Wisconsin begins this weekend. Here are the season dates:
  • Bow - Sept. 13 - Nov. 20, 2008 and Dec. 1, 2008 - Jan. 4, 2009
  • Gun - Nov. 22 - Nov. 30, 2008
  • Muzzleloader - Dec. 1 - Dec. 10, 2008
  • Youth Deer Hunt - Oct. 11 & 12, 2008
  • Statewide Antlerless Hunt - Dec. 11 - Dec. 14, 2008
Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials say as many as 1.7 million whitetail deer are currently roaming the Badger State, approximately the same figure as last year. Our severe winter may have claimed the lives of some deer in north central Wisconsin, but overall, the DNR says the state has more deer than the targeted population goals.

I wholeheartedly support our hunters and outdoor enthusiasts for not only promoting one of the state’s rich historical traditions but their involvement in critical wildlife management. Even Wisconsinites not hunting benefit from the tax revenue generated from hunters that purchase guns, ammunition and outdoor equipment.

Hunting is an integral element of American culture. Families by the millions engage in this recreational activity. Hunters have long demonstrated social responsibility through their continued support of wildlife management and conservation policies. Their activity has led directly to the funding of programs that have resulted in aiding and restoring the populations of ducks, turkeys, antelope, elk and deer.

Hunting has fed the hungry through thousands of pounds of donated game meat to programs for the poor.

There are fewer accidents involving crashes with wildlife because of hunters.

Hunting serves to teach responsible gun ownership. Rural residents are more apt to be hunters and violent crime rates are much lower in rural areas.

The benefits of hunting are many, and for that, Wisconsin owes a big thank you to all of our hunters. 

Here’s to a very safe and successful 2008 deer hunting season!

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